ME.

DF Author 26.04.12_PD2026558_m

I am a sixty-five year old London taxi driver who wrote a book in 2012 that is now under its third consecutive years paid option to become a $30,000,000 film.

Six years earlier in 2006 I had a road traffic accident that left me unable to work effectively for almost four years. I was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and as a consequence; scared stiff to drive!

I believe that my whole experience could be inspirational to others who have, or, are, suffering a stress related illness and a way of relating how life can change for the better even in those most darkest of days.

The opportunity of my novel becoming a film was never of supreme importance to me when I wrote it, although it is every writers dream. It was simply because I had found a divergence from real life. That initial necessity has since developed into a love of that art.

THE BOOK: THE DESOLATE GARDEN

Synopsis:

The story is centred on one family, the Earls of Harrogate, who since the fourteenth century have been the sole custodians of a secret and surreptitious bank in London’s Queen Anne’s Gate, affectionately known as Annies.

In 2007 Lord Elliot Patterson takes over the running of the bank from his father and decides to upgrade the old ledgers into digital format.

He discovers, in a hidden away 1937 ledger, a huge sum of money beginning to disappear. There is an address in Leningrad, Russia, appended in a margin along with two sets of initials. He suspects that his grandfather, Lord Maudlin Paterson, may have been funding a Russian spy!

Fearful of the disgrace this would cause, Elliot telephones his estranged eldest son, Harry, and tells of his suspicions.

Six months later Lord Elliot is found shot dead in the family’s London town house.

Harry, who on leaving the Army had been recruited in the Secret Intelligence Services, is recalled from the estate in Yorkshire to throw any light he may have on his father’s murder. He seemingly mets by accident an attractive woman in Duke’s Hotel, St James’s, whom he believes to be on the ‘pick up.’

However, she, Judith Meadows, works for the Home Office and knows more about his family than Harry does.

The story is told through the dialogue of the developing rubber band relationship the two have, whereby Harry doesn’t want to tell Judith of his farther’s suspicions, and Judith won’t divulge the full extent of her knowledge to Harry. Until at last they must come together to find whether or not there is a Russian spy, and who murdered Lord Elliot.

My journey has been one of differing sensations. The excitement of being a published writer, with the twenty odd Waterstones book signings and a recent appearance on ITV news at 6pm, set against the constant threat of losing our home.

In order to live through that time off work, caused by the accident, I incurred a mortgage excess of some £80,000 which the bank has now asked to be repaid. I received virtually no compensation for that event.

The only way my wife and I have to rectify this situation is to sell our home, a process we are going through now. We will not be in a position to buy another home!

That journey however, would never have begun without that first dramatic life changing event which I and my family lived through. Another is about to happen, and that too will be overcome.

Thank you for reading this.

http://about.me/DannyKemp

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About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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4 Responses to ME.

  1. janetcate says:

    Good things do come out of the darkness. What an exciting and scary place for you? This was a nice story to read. I have no idea what the future holds for me. The unknown frightens me terribly but there is a part of me that knows if I just trust my self-organizing system (my heart, mind, brain, body, gut, intuitive and womb intelligences the future will continue to bring bliss and suffering because I live with severe PTSD but I also live more fully human, more fully alive. I am full of gratitude.

    • Danny Kemp says:

      I don’t envy you, Janet, it was never pleasant for me. One thing made me turn a corner and that was a comment made by one of the psychiatrists I saw. She asked, “if your car was scratched would you throw it away?” “Of course not” I replied, but that was me. I was scratched in the mind, but I was worth saving!

  2. So far I am loving the book. I smell romance in the air :o). My daughter and her family are visiting today so no reading until they leave. I can relate about financial trouble Danny, we work and save all of our lives and then invest to make sure we will be comfortable in retirement and then it all comes crashing down around us. I too wrote a book, unfortunately no movie deal. We never recovered from the crash and are now living in a condo or a flat as you might call it. It took a toll on us but we will survive. We have our family and grandchildren and they bring us much joy. I know you will do fine. When a door closes a window always opens. Bless you. :o)

  3. Danny Kemp says:

    I’m pleased you’re enjoying the book, Patricia, but sorry for the place you find yourself in. There is a great deal in what you say about survival, it’s our instinct. I wish you and your family well.

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